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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 28 December 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 28 December 2017

    DR1 breaks for the New Year holiday
    Fire at the Quisqueya Ball Park affects championship
    Central Bank says economy grew 6.8% in November
    Time running out to renew vehicle circulation sticker
    JCE to receive an increased budget
    Delay in new tourist card system
    Income from Customs Agency has increased
    Movearte: Let your imagination fly
    Government continues alert against cleren
    Authorities seek cleren supplier
    Electricity tariffs could be increased
    List of public holidays published
    Controversy of giving Dominican nationality to abandoned minors
    Canadians arrested for smuggling cocaine from the DR
    Trucker Blas Peralta appeals again
    The heirs to Fefita la Grande?
    Watch it with plantain vendors
    Ozuna & Bad Bunny at the Blue Mall Punta Cana Amphitheater
    DJ David Guetta at Altos de Chavón
    Merengue at Lucia 203 with Dionis Fernández
    Merengue show at Hard Rock Live
    New Year Party 2018 Hotel El Embajador
    Dance to Wilfrido Vargas and Fernando Villalona for New Year’s

    DR1 breaks for the New Year holiday
    DR1 Daily News will be taking off as of today, Thursday, 28 December 2017 and through the New Year holidays. Go and enjoy, we will do our best to package the news so you can catch up after the New Year’s break! Headline news will be compiled for the Tuesday, 2 January 2018 issue. Meanwhile, the DR1 Forums will be open 24/7 for posting news and comments throughout the holidays. The Best in 2018 for All!

    Fire at the Quisqueya Ball Park affects championship
    A major fire caused the cancellation of the Escogido vs. Gigantes game at the Quisqueya Ball Park an hour before the game would start at 7:30pm on Wednesday, 27 December 2017. The sold-out-game between the Aguilas and the Licey for 28 December is also now cancelled. The Dominican Baseball League now needs to relocate the Escogido and Licey Santo Domingo city games.

    As reported, the fire that broke out in the press area of the stadium practically extinguished itself as local fire trucks did not have capacity to reach the top floor where the fire started. The press suite is located in the area known as the 7th floor that is about 12 floors high.

    The fire started at around 6:30pm when the press was gathered for pre-game reports on radio and TV. 15 fire units were dispatched to put out the fire and prevent it from expanding to the rest of the stadium.

    Sportswriter Renaldo Bodden said that the fire was first noticed when smoke started coming out of an air conditioner located in the events room of the press suite that hangs over the central seating of the stadium. The press rapidly evacuated the area and by the time they reached the playing field an enormous blaze had engulfed the press suite. The fire took about three hours to be extinguished.

    Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo said that the stadium would be assessed first thing on Thursday morning. Also visiting the stadium after the fire broke out were Sports Minister Danilo Diaz, the 911 director Dalvert Polanco and National District Mayor David Collado.

    Diario Libre reporters observed the fire evidenced the deficiencies of the local firefighters when dealing with fires occurring higher than three floors. The city only has one fire fighter truck with capacity to reach a high rise. This was donated by the city of Miami.

    Central Bank says economy grew 6.8% in November
    The Central Bank reports that the Gross Domestic Product was up 6.8% in November 2017, compared to 4.9% in the previous month of October. The Central Bank said that this year the economy was impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria that paralyzed normal activities nationwide for several days in September.

    The Central Bank reported the release of bank cash reserve funds for lending injected the liquidity that boosted the economy. The lending flexibility measures began in early August.

    The expectations are now for the year to end with a 4.5% growth of GDP. Accumulated yearly growth for 2017 as of November is 4.2%.

    Growth was generated by financial services, farming, tourism (hotels, bars and restaurants), free zones, transport and warehousing, real estate, communications, construction and local manufacturing.

    Time running out to renew vehicle circulation sticker
    The Tax Agency (DGII) has warned that there are less than two weeks left to renew the taxation sticker or “marbete”.The final date for the renewal is Monday, 8 January 2018. For those who do not renew by this date there is a fine of RD$1,000 in addition to the cost of the sticker. To date only 640,272 vehicles have renewed the sticker, or 50% of the 1,279,845 vehicles in circulation.

    The DGII has urged everyone to renew now before the deadline and reminded the public that there are 28 banks with 1,543 outlets where the sticker can be purchased. The cost is RD$1,500 for those over five years old and RD$3,000 for those under five years old.

    The DGII expects to raise RD$2.07 billion from the sale of the stickers and to date has only collected RD$1.11 billion.

    JCE to receive an increased budget
    The government is going to hand over an additional RD$1 billion to the budget of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) to cover the payment of its debts, most of which were left over from the past 2016 general election.

    The JCE has accumulated a debt of RD$2.4 billion of which RD$1 billion will be amortized to next year and given the other RD$500 million received, it will only need to pay around RD$900 million of which RD$200 million is payable in taxes.

    The total money the JCE will receive as its budget for 2018 will be RD$5.68 billion, of which RD$3.25 billion is for operating costs, RD$1.26 billion for the contribution to the political parties, RD$1.0 billion for the amortization of the debt and the other RD$176 million to comply with inter-institutional agreements.

    The largest debt that the JCE has is for US$13.9 million in arrears with the Spanish firm, Indra Systems for the provision of the electronic equipment purchased for use in the 2016 elections, which they have agreed to pay.

    Delay in new tourist card system
    The Tax Agency (DGII) has announced that they have delayed the new system of payment of tourist cards until 1 April 2018. In a press release, the DGII said that due to the coordination needed to make the US$10 tourist card a part of the airline tickets and those arriving by sea, which involves international organizations and transport companies, they need more time to implement the new system that was originally due to start on 1 January 2018.

    At present, visitors pay for the US$10 tourist card upon arrival to the country.

    Income from Customs Agency has increased
    The Customs Agency (DGA) announced collecting RD$12.35 billion in November, a 16.5% increase over the same month in 2016. From January to November 2017, the DGA has collected RD$104.54 billion, a 12.53% increase over the same period last year.

    Of the monies collected, some 65.09% is from the ITBIS sales tax, 23.66% from duties and the remainder from other sources.

    88.32% of the revenues were collected at seaports, 11.52% at airports and the rest by land. The vast majority, 81.45% came from the ports of Caucedo, Haina, Santo Domingo and Las Americas International Airport (SDQ).

    Movearte: Let your imagination fly
    The Catholic Church’s Evangelization Through Art Movement (Movearte) is recycling planes to encourage children to choose a career in mechanics. The largest, an old Dominicana de Aviación Boeing with capacity for 180 persons, was placed at the polytechnical high school located at Av. Cayetano Germosén near Av. Luperón and the ministries of Environment and Tourism. The large plane hull, interior and cockpit has been fitted as a classroom for teaching aviation-related courses in Greater Santo Domingo.

    Movearte has received donations of three other smaller airplanes for installation in three other technical educational centers in the city. These are El Dique, on the east side of the Ozama River, that will also specialize in boat mechanics; in La Gina, in northern Santo Domingo near the La Isabela International Airport; and at the Colegio San Juan Bautista in Bella Vista sector.

    Father Manuel Ruiz says the idea is to help children who have never been on an airplane to recreate the magic of flying. He said they have also received donations of airplane mechanical parts. “We have decided to recreate the magical world of the children to educate them in their world. I am a farm boy who came from Los Haitises who if I had not been a priest would never have been on a plane. I understand that by recreating this magic world we can put the children in contact with airplanes that otherwise appear to them as unreachable,” he said explaining the idea. He said they have purchased flight simulation software for the courses.

    Government continues to alert public about cleren
    A high level commission, head by Public Health Minister Altagracia Guzmán and Defense Minister Ruben Paulino Sem, visited Guayajayuco in Pedro Santana, Elías Piña province on the border with Haiti, where a dozen persons have died after reportedly imbibing cleren, an artisanally produced alcoholic beverage. The authorities said the victims died because the beverage had been laced with methanol instead of ethanol. There also have been deaths reported from tainted claren ingestion in Santiago and Dajabón for a total of 16 reported deaths.

    The mayor of Pedro Santana, Hipólito Valenzuela, said they were working with the Haitian authorities and the Ministry of Public Health to alert residents in both countries not to consume the clandestinely made drink.

    The authorities have begun to dismantle cleren factories across the country following the deaths from drinking the illegally made liquor over the Christmas holiday. So far five laboratories have been dismantled in the community of San Luis in Santo Domingo East and in the municipality of Cabral in Barahona.This operation was headed up by prosecutor Yván Ariel Gómez Rubio and the Southern Regional Director of the National Police, General Orlando Martin Pichardo Reynoso.

    Pichardo Reynoso said that the owner of the factory in Los Botados, Cabral was a suspected fugitive from justice and is currently being sought by the police. He said that there are several factories in that area making what is known as “triculi” but that cleren is being manufactured in Haiti.

    Authorities seek cleren supplier
    As reported in Listin Diario, the authorities seek a Haitian identified as “Gerardo” who is accused as the person who sold the cleren that poisoned numerous persons reside or had been visiting Elías Piña. The authorities attribute the deaths of 16 people to drinking of the cleren. In addition, several other victims were hospitalized in Elías Piña, Dajabón and Santiago.

    According to witnesses, the so-called Gerardo came to the bi-national market in Dajabon on Sunday night, 24 December with two tanks of cleren and sold all of it on the Monday. 25 December. It appears he has been selling it in the same way for several years with no problems, so it is thought that on this occasion the error in its manufacture was due to his suppliers rather than him.

    Security agencies in Haiti and the Dominican Border Security Corps (Cesfront) and the Dominican Army Intelligence unit are involved in the search for the cleren vendor

    In interviews conducted over the past few days with residents of the community Los Cercadillos, a small area in the municipality of Pedro Santana in Elías Piña, it became clear that local many stores source goods from Haitian vendors, including bread and sugar. However, following the cleren tragedy, people in this community are urging the authorities to prevent shop owners from stocking food products from Haiti, fearing that other goods from Haiti might also be contaminated.

    Pedro Santana mayor, Hipólito Valenzuela, explained that the first three deaths occured in his town. The first was Julia Contreras, and having attended her funeral, her brother died hours later, and the following day, his 19-year old son.

    In an editorial, Hoy observes the complacency of the sanitary authorities to the sale of cleren nationwide and how the authorities had not acted until the deaths occurred.

    Electricity tariffs could be increased
    Two of the major changes that the proposed Electricity Pact 2017-2030 could involve the setting of a fixed date for changes in the electricity rates and the authorization of the distribution companies (EDE) to subcontract the collection of the payments. These companies at present are all government-owned and operated.

    The final draft document was signed on 21 December 2017, and states that the current fee structure will remain until 30 June 2018, but from then up to 31 December 2022 there will be new rates on regulated consumers would be based on the average price of purchasing the energy, the exchange rate, the reduction in the losses of the EDEs and improvement in their efficiency. Rates will be reviewed every three months.

    The pact draft establishes that on 1 January 2023, there will be another set of tariffs that will be calculated on the cost of the provision of electricity and the cost of investment and operation of the sector. The tariffs will fluctuate as of July 2018 so as that the electricity subsidy not be more than 12% of the tariff.

    As far as the subcontracting of services is concerned, the document states that there is a period of 12 months following the signature of the pact during which time the conditions for public tenders should be established, allowing other companies to take over the billing process, so that the distributors can concentrate on their main function of the providing electricity to customers.

    While the pact should have been signed on 21 December, the signing was postponed coinciding with a press conference by the Association of Industries of Herrera president, Antonio Taveras Guzmán who disclosed several major inefficiencies that the pact would not correct.

    As reported in Diario Libre, participants in the talks said the final document was not circulated in a timely manner among the key national energy stakeholders. Guzman told Diario Libre reporters that only President Danilo Medina and the board of the Economic and Social Council knew the contents of the final draft that would be presented for signing.

    List of public holidays published
    The Ministry of Labor is again reminding all in the Dominican Republic the dates for public holidays in 2018. Check out the long weekends that will happen when the holidays fall on a Friday or Monday. On some occasions when the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, take note that these are also times when many will take off from work for an extended long weekend.

    These are:
    January 2018:
    Monday, 1 January (New Year’s Day), Saturday 6 January (Three Kings Day).
    Sunday, 21 January (Our Lady Altagracia Day).
    While the birthday of Dominican Republic founding father falls on Friday, 26 January, it will be a working day and the holiday is moved to Monday, 29 January.
    February 2018:
    Tuesday, 27 February (National Independence Day).
    March 2018:
    Friday, 30 March (Good Friday)
    April 2018:
    While Labor Day falls on Tuesday, 1 May (Labor Day), it is a working day and the holiday is moved to Monday, 30 April.
    May 2018:
    Thursday, 31 May (Corpus Christi Day)
    August 2018:
    Thursday, 16 August (Restoration Day)
    September 2018:
    Monday, 24 September (Mercedes Day)
    November 2018:
    While Constitution Day falls on Tuesday, 6 November, it will be a working day and the holiday is moved to Monday, 5 November.
    December 2018:
    Tuesday, 25 December (Christmas Day).

    The official list of the 2018 holidays is available

    Controversy of giving Dominican nationality to abandoned minors
    Politician Luis Acosta Moreta (El Gallo) of the Unión Demócrata Cristiana (UDC) alerted that the Central Electoral Board (JCE) issuing of Dominican birth certificates to undocumented children cannot be decided unilaterally by the JCE without public hearings. This was brought up when it was known the JCE had selected 128 names to use to legalize abandoned undocumented children (Resolution 3-2017).

    Acosta Moreta expressed his concern that the motion would open doors so that thousands of undocumented abandoned children in Haiti may be encouraged to travel to the Dominican Republic to obtain Dominican last names and legal birth certificates, making them eligible for elective positions in the future. Most people residing in Haiti are undocumented.

    He charged that the proposed policy was promoted by the charge d’affaires of the US Embassy and USAID that he described as the political arm of that mission. He said earlier Alvaro Vargas Llosa, when commissioner for United Nations Refugees Agency attempted to support a similar measure.

    Moreta stated: “We have shown our solidarity with the Haitians, but the respect for national sovereignty is not negotiable, and these maneuvers should stop.” He said that the role of the JCE is to guarantee the civil registry and the credibility of the ID card, and that free and democratic elections be held.

    Recently, it was made public the JCE has decided on a list of selected names to be used for orphaned children in order to legalize their status.

    The National Council for Children (Conani) in turn says that they are the government institution in charge of legal processes for undocumented abandoned children as has been established in Law 136-03, Art. 126 that establishes that Conani is the ad-hoc tutor of the unnamed children. Conani feels they should assign the last names. The observation is made after the controversy generated after the Central Electoral Board (JCE) issued a Resolution 3-2017 with a selection of 128 last names for the undocumented abandoned children was made public.

    In a statement, Conani nevertheless says it applauds any initiative to guarantee the basic rights of the children when this is not contrary to processes already established by the law. Conani, nevertheless, establishes concern over the adults in the same circumstances.

    Also commenting on the JCE resolution, lawyer Juan Miguel Castillo Pantaleón questioned why in the selection of last names, the JCE did not include common Haitian last names. He observed that most of the children under Conani care are abandoned children from Haiti due to what he described as massive trafficking of pregnant women through the border for giving birth in the Dominican Republic.

    Canadians arrested for smuggling cocaine from the DR
    Two residents from Ottawa, Canada are facing drug charges for allegedly attempting to smuggle liquid cocaine in rum bottles into Canada.

    According to a press release from the RCMP, the pair of travelers arrived at the Ottawa airport on a flight from the Dominican Republic on 7 December 2017. During a secondary examination of their belongings, Canada Border Services Officer found 10 one-liter bottles of rum. A test and a detector dog both showed indications that the liquid in the bottles was suspected to be cocaine.

    Two people were charged with importing cocaine and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and both suspects were released and scheduled to appear in court on 2 January 2018.

    Trucker Blas Peralta appeals again
    Long-time Fenatrado truckers association head, Blas Peralta, has asked the Supreme Court of Justice to reverse his sentence from the Court of Appeal in the National District, which confirmed his conviction to 30 years in jail for the murder of the ex-rector of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), Mateo Aquino Febrillet.

    The appeal to the Supreme Court was made by lawyer Miguel Valerio Jiminian, representing Peralta and states that the Appeal Court committed serious violations of the legal rights of representation and due process for Peralta. Valerio Jiminian stressed that proper legal representation and due process is sacred under the Constitution. Valerio claimed the prosecution denied his client the opportunity to prepare a defense against the charges.

    His lawyer, Miguel Valerio Jiminián, is arguing that his client was coerced during the legal proceedings and that the sentence should be reduced to two-years in jail and payment of RD$1 million to the relatives of the victim, according to Arts. 321 and 326 of the Dominican Penal Code. The legal recourse was submitted after the Appeals Court of the First Penal Hall of the National District ratified the 30-year jail sentence issued by the First Collegiate Court of the National District.

    The heirs to Fefita la Grande?
    A video that is circulating reveals the talent of 9-year old Anyelky Acosta from Santiago when playing the accordion and singing typical merengue. She is the great grand-daughter, grand-daughter and daughter of well known typical musicians from Santiago. Those who are marveled at her early talents say she could be the next Fefita la Grande, María Díaz or Mery Hernández (La India Canela).

    The child plays with Wilfre Bisonó and Erickson Aybar, who play the drum and the güira, and Anyelk’s sisters Amberly and Anyerly make up the group “Anyelky Acosta, la Niña Divina”.

    Anyelky and Amberly Acosta are the daughters of Analky Acosta who in turn has been playing since he was nine years old with a bachata group from his native town in Cabrera (Nagua), where he sat in for his father Félix Acosta who played the drums. His father was the son of drums player Demetrio Acosta.

    The father, Analky Acosta today plays the drums with the typical music group led by Narciso Francisco, who is known as the Pavarotti of typical music.

    Watch it with plantain vendors
    A news story in Hoy alerts the public to watch for domiciliary vegetable vendors who may be thieves in disguise. It tells the recent story of home robberies in Santo Domingo East, La Caleta, Andres and Boca Chica. The housewives that had purchased attractively-priced bunch of plantains found themselves being assaulted at gunpoint when the helpful vendors entered their homes to help them with the just bought bunch of plantains and told them it was a robbery.

    The robberies even touched upon the homes of two military, where the thieves aka plantain vendors stole cash, mobile phones, laptops, jewelry and other objects.

    Ozuna & Bad Bunny at the Blue Mall Punta Cana Amphitheater
    The Amphitheater Blue Mall Punta Cana presents trap artists Ozuna and Bad Bunny on Saturday, 30 December 2017 at 8pm. Tickets are RD$2,500 general admission and RD$5,000 VIP seating.

    DJ David Guetta at Altos de Chavón
    The Altos de Chavon Amphitheater in La Romana presents French DJ, producer and composer David Guetta on 30 December performance at Altos de Chavon amphitheater in La Romana. The organizers say the amphitheater will become the largest dance floor in the Caribbean. Guetta is one of the best known DJs in the world, and has collaborated with artists such as Rihanna, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, Akon, Fergie, Usher, Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, Nicky Minaj among others.

    Merengue at Lucia 203 with Dionis Fernández
    Dionis Fernández and Charlie Rodríguez merengue dancing at Lucia 203 in the Colonial City on Saturday, 30 December 2017. Tickets for sale online at Ticketexpress for RD$1,000 general admission.

    Merengue show at Hard Rock Live
    End the year dancing to the merengue of legendary Dominican performers during the “End of Year with the Merengue Kings Show”, at the Hard Rock Live of Hard Rock Café Blue Mall in Santo Domingo, on Sunday, 31 December. Performances by Johnny Ventura, Los Hermanos Rosario, Pochy Familia and El Conjunto Quisqueya. Dancing until dawn. There will be a “crazy hour” with La Materialista. Show time from 10pm. Tickets for sale online at Ticketexpress for RD$2,500 general admission and RD$3,500 VIP (pre-sale).

    New Year Party 2018 Hotel El Embajador
    For the New Year Party 2018 at the Embajador Hotel, urban artists Los Blanquitos, El Mayor, El Nene La Amenazzy, DJ Miguel Duarte and DJ Diony will be the entertainers. This is the 8th year of the New Year’s bash that is held at the Garden Tent of the city hotel. Doors open on 31 December 2017 at 11:45pm. Reservations 809 979-2597.

    Dance to Wilfrido Vargas and Fernando Villalona for New Year’s
    Starting at 10pm on Sunday, 31 December, the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel’s Teatro La Fiesta presents “The Ultra Super Mega Dance of the 31st” with non-stop dance music until dawn.

    Performances of Wilfrido Vargas, Fernando Villalona, Toño Rosario, Rubby Pérez, Eddy Herrera, Miriam Cruz, Davicito Kada, Krisspy, Kinito Méndez and closing with Mozart la Para. The evening includes snacks, sancocho and party favors.

    Tickets for sale online at Ticketexpress for RD$2,500, RD$3,000, RD$5,000 and RD$7,000.

    Urban music for New Year's
    El Alfa, Mozart La Para, Mark B., Secreto, Musicologo and many other urban music artists will be performing at the Parque La Lira on Av. Abraham Lincoln in Santo Domingo. Free admission.

    New Year on the Malecon
    Grupo Telemicro (Channel 5) is sponsoring the New Year party on the Malecon in Santo Domingo with Chiquito Team Band, Crazy Design, Miriam Cruz, Mozart La Para, Toño Rosario, El Alfa, Revolucion Salsera, Secreto, Teodoro Reyes, Yiyo Sarante, David Kadda, Krispy, El Mayor, Pochy Familia and Divas by Jimenez. Free admission

    New Year party at the Monumento in Santiago
    In Santiago, the New Year's extravaganza takes place at the Monumento a los Heroes de la Restauracion. Performances by Alex Matos, Fefita la Grande, Divas by Jiemenz, Kiko el Presidente, Kinito Mendez, Krisspy, Wilfrido Vargas, Bullin, Joe Veras, Shadow Blow, Mozart La Para. From 9pm. No admission fee.
    Last edited by Dolores; 12-31-2017 at 09:52 AM.

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